U-M Punches NCAA Ticket with Runner-up Effort at Great Lakes Regional

Nov. 13, 2010

Site: Rochester, Mich. (Katke-Cousins Golf Course)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (6,000 meters)
U-M Finish: 2nd of 33 Teams (96 points)
Top U-M Individual: Danielle Tauro, 9th (20:50.11)
Next U-M Event: Monday, Nov. 22 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), Noon

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships with its runner-up effort at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 13) at Oakland's Katke-Cousins Golf Course. The Wolverines posted 96 points, finishing just 16 points behind champion Michigan State.

Four Wolverine runners earned all-region honors with top-25 finishes, most notably Michigan's top-10 duo of senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and sophomore Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS), who took ninth and 10th place, respectively. Tauro remained among the top 10 throughout the race, staying off the initial quick pace set by a trio of frontrunners and hanging with the first chase pack through the race's opening 2,000 meters. Tauro dropped back a few spots over the middle portion of the race but regained her top-10 standing entering the final 1,000 meters. For her part, Smith worked up through the field and caught up with Tauro in the last stretch to cross the line just 1.4 seconds behind her teammate.

Sophomore Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) also earned All-Great Lakes Region accolades, placing 17th and 22nd, respectively, while senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) rounded out Michigan's scoring contingent in 38th place.

The NCAA Championships will be held Monday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6,000-meter women's race will start at noon at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course.

Top 10 Teams

 1. Michigan State     80
 2. MICHIGAN           96
 3. Toledo            130
 4. Ohio State        139
 5. Indiana           167
 6. Notre Dame        207
 7. Miami (Ohio)      220
 8. Central Michigan  232
 9. Dayton            248
10. Wisconsin         266

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Emily McLeod, Michigan State      20:18.76
 2. Emily Sisson, Wisconsin           20:25.81
 3. Ari Fisher, Toledo                20:32.37
 4. Caitlin Comfort, Wisconsin        20:37.11
 5. Rachael Patterson, Miami          20:40.39
 6. Carlie Green, Michigan State      20:41.98
 7. Meredith Wagner, Ohio State       20:42.96
 8. Ellen Birmingham, Ohio State      20:46.19
 9. DANIELLE TAURO, U-M               20:50.11
10. JILLIAN SMITH, U-M                20:51.50

Other Michigan Finishers

17. Rebecca Addison, U-M          21:09.73
22. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M        21:23.63
38. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M            21:42.55
55. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M    21:53.80
82. Kourtney Moody, U-M           22:20.73


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On Michigan's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships ... "We ran well enough during the season that if we had leaked a little oil and gotten third or fourth today, we would have been okay. But it's just a good feeling that we got up on the stand as an automatic team, and there's no waiting for phone calls from the committee tomorrow. We put a lot of effort into putting ourselves in that position, so we're pretty proud of that."

On Michigan's individual performances ... "I thought that was Jill's [Smith] best race of the year. Danielle [Tauro] was just a little bit off form relative to the Big Ten, but it was still a solid race for her. I thought we had really solid races from Jill; I thought Becca [Addison] was on par or better than what she did at the Big Ten, and I thought we were quite a bit better with Kaitlyn Patterson in the fourth spot. I also thought Mary Grace [Pellegrini] was as good or better than what she did at the Big Tens, and I thought Kourtney [Moody] did a great job. Kaitlyn Peale is working through an injury issue, and she's competing hard; she just doesn't have the preparation that the others have. She's doing the best she can, and she's still contributing to the team."

U-M Senior Danielle Tauro
On her race and Michigan's performance ... "I don't know what they took it out in, and I thought I stayed back. But if they went out harder than normal, then I went out pretty hard too. I'm not sure if it went out fast, but it felt like it did. At the same time, it's a hilly course, so that tears the body up a little. I stayed as close to the places I wanted to be as long as I could. I rallied a little at the end. I was trying to accelerate in the last 1,000, but I was kind of by myself. I was just trying to maintain pace then in the last straightaway, I found the gear -- thank goodness. Jill [Smith] really stepped up big time. I had a bit of an off day, but I think we did a great job overall. It's nice that we have people that different people can step up; it's not on just one person's shoulders. I'm grateful we have just a strong team."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423